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Moscow Travel Guide

Moscow History

After the war, the economic growth began in Moscow accompanied by the development of the city’s infrastructure. By 1814, one-sixth of Russia’s workers were employed by the city’s enterprises. In 1825 Decembrist Revolt fails; the monarchy is preserved and Nicholas I ascends the throne but in 1861 Alexander II abolishes serfdom. The Emancipation of the Serfs curtails the economic strength of most nobles. The freed serfs, who are too poor to buy land, flock to the factories of mercantile and industrial entrepreneurs. These entrepreneurs usurp the position of the aristocrats.


By 1897, the population of Moscow exceeded a million.  On November 1, 1851 a railroad line between St. Petersburg and Moscow was opened. In 1898, the first telephone line between Moscow and St. Petersburg became operational. Trams appeared in 1899, a modern water supply system was built in 1903 (Moskvoretskaya) and the city got a sewer system in the late 19th century. On March 12, 1918, with the Soviet government now in Moscow, the city became the country’s capital again.


During the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945, Moscow was the country’s political and military center and it was from here that frontline and home front operations were directed. The largest battle of the war, the Battle of Moscow, was fought from October 1941 to April 1942 on the approaches to Moscow. The Soviet forces inflicted a major defeat on the Nazis. On June 24, 1945 a Victory Parade was held in Moscow. On December 25, 1991, Moscow became the capital of the Russian Federation. Moscow is the world’s largest northern megalopolis, and a major economic, political and scientific center of Russia. The city’s economy is based on science, technology and industry. Moscow is home to many major enterprises operating in different branches of industry.


The 19th century is known to be a "golden age" for arts and science, and Moscow was a birthplace for many famous artists, writers, painters and scientists; a number of outstanding politicians were also moscovites, familiar names like Pushkin, Gogol', Tolstoi, Chekhov, Herzen, Pirogov, Sklifosofsky, Vasnetsov, Serov, Levitan and many others. Communistic ideas of Karl Marx became popular there, they were studied in secret meetings by workers and intelligentsia, who became very enthusiastic about them and organized revolutionary groups. Their activities resulted in a series of rebellions; one of them was mentioned frequently as a most successful Krasnaya Presnya rebellion of 1905. July strikes of 1914 were the next conspicuous stage in the revolutionary process, which was finalized by the February and the "Great October"


During the years of Soviet rule the history of Moscow experienced many dramatic events. The life of Moscow was mostly determined by Communist leaders. On the whole, the Soviet government ordered four general reconstructions of Moscow. However, these reconstructions didn't change the structure of Moscow town-planning and many unique projects were carried out, new highways, bridges, metro stations and sky rises, etc. were built, but at the same time, many ancient buildings, churches, monasteries, convents were destroyed. As a result, Moscow has lost a lot of its integrity, ancient beauty and charm. Many destroyed buildings and monuments are being built anew. For example, a new dome of fantastic Saviour Cathedral - the symbol of spiritual revival of Russia is already seen from many places of Moscow.


By 1980 Organization and carrying out of the XXII Olympic Games, it was a great performance of Soviet Union. They wanted to show to the world that Soviet system is the best. Especially for the Games government for the first time produced beer in the aluminium cans (they stopped producing it after the games). In Mar 1985 Mikhail Gorbachev becomes general secretary and introduces glasnost and perestroika.


In 1991, Moscow was the scene of a coup attempt by the government members opposed to the reforms of Mikhail Gorbachev. When the USSR was dissolved in the same year, Moscow continued to be the capital of Russia. In 21 August 1991, there was a small revolution set in Moscow. The government was changed Boris Yeltsin is elected president and there had been tanks for several days in the Centrum of Moscow. At this time the Soviet Union was over, but it was a strange time for some period. Also a little earlier there were the first democratic mayor elections in Moscow. 1991 was the beginning of the Democracy, people were excited, waiting for changes, but it turned out to be hard process. By 31 Dec 1991 Soviet Union ceases to exist; the Russian flag is unfurled on top of the Kremlin. Later this year, the USSR is formally dissolved.


By 1997 the National holiday 850th Anniversary of Moscow. It was a great holiday. Central part was overcrowded, people were drunk and one out of every two was a policeman. Pity, you weren't here. Since then, the emergence of a market economy in Moscow has produced an explosion of Western-style retailing, services, architecture, and lifestyles. Besides the historical traits of Moscow, it has many different agricultural attributes. In 1998, it hosted the first World Youth Games. Moscow is the seat of power for the Russian Federation and in 1999 Surprise resignation of Boris Yeltsin, who is succeeded by Vladimir Putin.


Moscow, like with any national capital, is also the host of all the foreign embassies and diplomats representing a multitude of nations in Russia. Moscow is designated as one of only two Federal cities of Russia (the other one being Saint Petersburg). Among the 85 federal subjects of Russia, Moscow represents the most populated one and the smallest one in terms of area. Lastly, Moscow is located within the central economic region, one of twelve regions within Russia with similar economic goals.




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